Special high security key boxes such as "Knox Boxes" that emergency responders can access can be used to operate gates, hold premises keys and even contain emergency plans.
An additional critical consideration involves premises identification. During a significant emergency event the crews who are responding to your needs will likely be from out of the area. We constantly hear responders over the fire radio asking for better directions or other information because they are having difficulty locating addresses, losing precious time. These issues are compounded in rural areas where street signs are inconsistently placed or maintained, where rural roads unexpectedly change names and where the access to larger parcels may not be on the street for which they are addressed.
Addresses should be clear, with numbers and letters on contrasting backgrounds, and not obstructed by vegetation or other objects.
DEVELOPING AN EMERGENCY PLAN
Well arranged premises should have adequate means with which to move animals, redundancy in gates and alleyways so that animals can be moved safely and effectively in various directions, designated emergency loading areas that are always kept clear, and adequate room for tow vehicles and trailers to operate without getting in each others' way.
Premises also need to have an organized plan that is easy to understand, understood by all who frequent the premises, and that are posted for easy reference.
The following plan is for my personal small stable that includes some boarding and training.
Effective premises emergency plans often don't have to be complex. They just need to be logically organized and address a number of key issues.
- What are the hazards and risks?
- How can emergency responders gain access?
- How can the owners or managers be reached if they are not present?
- What is the layout of the premises / how is it organized?
- What are animal related priorities / needed actions?
- What are premises protection priorities / needed actions?
- What are contact numbers for veterinarians, response teams, neighbors who could assist?
- What additional resources would likely be needed?